Sermon 2900. How God Comes to Man
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1904.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, JULY 13, 1876.
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselvesfrom the Presence ofthe LORD God among the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Whereare you?" Genesis 3:8,9.
"How will God come to us now that we have rebelled against Him?" That is a question which must have greatly perplexed ourfirst parents. They may have said to one another, "Perhaps God will not come to us at all and then we shall be orphans, indeed.If spared to live on, we must continue to live without God and without hope in the world." It would have been the worst thingthat could have happened to our race if God had left this planet to take its own course and had said, concerning the peopleupon it, "I will leave them to their own way, for they are given over to idols."
But if He came to our first parents, in what way would He come? Surely Adam and Eve must have feared that He would be accompaniedby the angels of vengeance to destroy them straight away, or, at any rate, to bind them in chains and fetters forever. Sothey questioned among themselves, "Will He come and if He does, will His coming involve the total destruction of the humanrace?" Their hearts must have been sorely perplexed within them while they were waiting to see what God would do to them asa punishment for the great sin they had committed. I believe they thought that He would come to them. From their past experiencethey knew so much of His graciousness that they felt sure that He would come. Yet they also understood so much of His holyanger against sin that they must have been afraid of His coming-so they went and hid themselves among the trees of the gardenalthough every tree must have upbraided them for their disobedience, for everyone of the trees would seem to say, "Why doyou come here? You have eaten of the fruit of the tree of which you were forbidden to partake. You have broken your Maker'scommand and His sentence of death has already gone out against you. When He comes, He will certainly come to deal with youin judgment according to His faithful word-and when He does, what will become of you?" Every leaf, as it rustled, must havestartled and alarmed them. The breath of the evening breeze, as it passed through the garden, must have filled them with fearand dread as to the doom awaiting them.
Now, "in the cool of the day," or, as the Hebrew has it, "in the wind of the evening," when the evening breeze was blowingthrough the garden, God came. It is difficult for us to even imagine how He revealed Himself to our first parents. I supposeHe condescended to take upon Himself some visible form. It was "the voice of the Lord God" they heard in the garden and youknow that it is the Word of God who has been pleased to make Himself visible to us in human flesh. He may have assumed someform in which they could see Him, otherwise, as a pure Spirit, God could not have been recognized either by their ears ortheir eyes.
They heard His voice speaking as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day. And when He called to Adam, albeit that therewas righteous anger in the tone of His voice, yet His words were very calm and dignified and, as far as they could be, eventender, for, while you may read the words thus, "Adam, where are you?" You may also read them thus, "Where are you, poor Adam,where are you?" You may put a tone of pity into the words and yet not misread them. So the Lord comes thus in gentleness inthe cool of the day and calls them to account. He patiently listens to their wicked excuses and then pronounces upon thema sentence, which, heavy though it is towards the serpent and heavy though it is
towards all who are not saved by the woman's wondrous Seed, yet has much mercy mingled with it in the promise that the Seedof the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent-a promise which must have shone in their sad and sinful souls as some brightparticular star shines in the darkness of the night!
I learn from this incident that God will come to sinful men, sooner or later, and we may also learn from the way in whichHe came to our first parents, how He is likely to come to us. His coming will be different to different men, but we gather,from this incident, that God will certainly come to guilty men even if He waits till the cool of the day. And we are alsoable to understand a little about the way in which He will ultimately come to all men.
Remember this, Sinner, however far you may get away from God, you will have to come close to Him one of these days! You maygo and pluck the fruit that He forbids you to touch and then you may go and hide yourself among the thick trees in the forestand think that you have concealed yourself-but you will have to come face to face with your Maker at some time or other! Itmay not be today, or tomorrow. It may not be until "the cool of the day" of time. No, it may not be till time, itself, shallbe no more-but, at last, you will have to confront your Maker! Like the comet that flies far off from the sun, wandering intospace for an altogether inconceivable distance and yet has to come back again, however long the time its circuit takes-soyou will have to come back to God, either willingly, repentantly, believingly, or else unwillingly and in chains to receiveyour sentence of doom from the lips of the Almighty whom you have provoked to anger by your sin! God and you have to meetas surely as you are now living-at some time or other, each one of you must hear the voice of the Lord God saying to you,as He said to Adam, "Where are you?"
Now, from this meeting between God and fallen man, I learn a few lessons which I will pass on to you as the Holy Spirit shallenable me.
I. The first is this. When God did meet with fallen man, it was not until the cool of the day. This suggests to me GOD'S GREATPATIENCE WITH THE GUILTY.
Whether Adam and Eve sinned in the early morning, or in the middle of the day, or toward evening, we do not know. It is notnecessary that we should know this, but it is probable that the Lord God allowed an interval to intervene between the sinand the sentence. He was not in a hurry to come because He could not come except in anger to bring their sins home to them.You know how quick the tempers of some men are. If they are provoked, it is a word and a blow with them, for they have nopatience. It is our littleness that makes us impatient. God is so great that He can endure far more than we can. And thoughour first parents' sin greatly provoked Him-and it is to His Glory that He is so holy that He cannot look upon iniquity withoutindignation-yet He seemed to say to Himself, "I must go and call these two creatures of Mine to account for their sin. Yetjudgment is My strange work-it is mercy in which I delight. This morning I drew back the curtains that had shielded them duringthe night and poured the sunlight in upon them, not a second beyond the appointed time, and I was glad to do it. And all daylong I have been showering mercies upon them and the refreshing night-dews are already beginning to fall upon them. I willnot go down to them till the latest possible moment. I will put it off till the cool of the day." God will do nothing in theheat of passion-everything shall be deliberate, calm, majestic and Divine!
The fact that God did not come to question His sinful creatures till the cool of the day ought to teach us the greatness ofHis patience and it should also teach us to be patient with others. How wondrously patient God has been with some of you whoare here! You have lived many years and enjoyed His mercies, yet you have scarcely thought about Him. Certainly, you havenot yielded your hearts to Him. But He has not yet come to deal with you in judgment. He has waited 20 years for you youngpeople-30 years, 40 years, for you middle-aged folk-50 years, 60 years for you who are getting past that period and perhaps70 years, or even 80 years He has been known to tarry for, "He delights in mercy," but He does not delight in judgment! Seventyyears form a long life, yet many persons spend all that time in perpetrating fresh sin. Called to repentance over and overagain, they only become the more impenitent through resisting the call of mercy. Favored with blessings as many as the sandsof the seashore, they only prove themselves the more ungrateful by failing to appreciate all those blessings.
It is amazing that God is willing to wait till the cool of such a long, long day of life as 70 or 80 years make up! How patient,then, we ought to be with one another! Yet are you, parents, always patient with your children-your young children who maynot have willingly or consciously offended you? What patience you ought always to exercise towards them! And have you a likepatience towards a friend or a brother who may use rough speech and provoke you? Yet such
your patience ought to be. Never should we take our brother by the throat and say to him, "Pay me what you owe," so long aswe find God deliberately waiting till the cool of the day before He comes to those who have offended Him-and even then utteringno more words of anger than should be uttered and mingling even those words with mercy that has no boundaries!
II. The second thing that I gather from the Lord's coming to Adam and Eve in the cool of the day is HIS DIVINE CARE FOR THEGUILTY.
Though He did not come till the cool of the day, thus manifesting His patience, He did come then, thus manifesting His carefor those who had sinned against Him. He might have left them all night long-all night long without their God-all night longwithout Him after they had done just what He had forbidden them to do. All night long-a sleepless night, a fearful night,a night that would have been haunted with a thousand fears-all night long with this great battle trembling in the balance,with the great question of their punishment unsolved and an indefinable dread of the future hanging over them! Many of youknow that the trial of being kept in suspense is almost worse than any other trouble in the world. If a man knew that he hadto be beheaded, it would be easier for him to die at once than to have to kneel with his neck on the block and the gleamingaxe lifted up above him, not knowing when it might fall. Suspense is worse than death! We seem to feel a thousand deaths whilewe are kept in suspense of one. So God would not leave Adam and Eve in suspense through the whole night after they had sinnedagainst Him, but He came to them in the cool of the day.
There was this further reason why He came to them-notwithstanding the fact that they had disobeyed Him and that He would haveto punish them, He remembered that they were still His creatures. He seemed to be saying within Himself, "What shall I doto them? I must not utterly destroy them, but how can I save them? I must carry out My threat, for My word is true, yet Imust also see how I can spare them, for I am gracious and My Glory is to be increased by the display of My Grace towards them."The Lord looked upon them as the appointed progenitors of His elect and regarded Adam and Eve, also, let us hope, as His electwhom He loved notwithstanding their sin So He seemed to say, "I will not leave them all night without the promise which willbrighten their gloom." It was only one promise and, perhaps, it was not clearly understood by them-still, it was a promiseof God, even though it was spoken to the serpent-"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and herSeed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." So, not one night were God's poor fallen creatures left withoutat least one star to gleam in the darkness for them and thus He showed His care for them.
And still, dear Friends, though God is slow to anger, yet He is always ready to pardon and very tender and compassionate evenwhen He has to pass sentence upon the guilty. "He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever." You cansee His care and consideration even for the most unworthy of us because He has not cut us off in our sin! We are-
"Not in torment, not in Hell."
We can see the marks of His goodness in the very garments on our backs and the food of which we partake by His bounty. Manyof His gifts come not merely to those who do not deserve them, but to those who deserve to be filled with the gall and wormwoodof Almighty Wrath!
III. Now, thirdly, I want to show you that WHEN THE LORD DID COME, HE AFFORDED US A PATTERN OF HOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD COMESTO AWAKEN THE CONSCIENCES OF MEN.
I have already said that sooner or later God will come to confront each one of us. I pray that if He has never come to you,dear Friend, in the way of awakening your conscience and making you feel yourself a sinner, He may come to you very speedily.And when He does come to awaken you-it is somewhat in this way.
First, He comes seasonably-"in the cool of the day." Adam's work was done and Eve had no more to do until the next day. Atthat hour they had been accustomed, in happier times, to sit down and rest. Now God comes to them and the Spirit of God, whenHe comes to awaken men, generally visits them when they have a little time for quiet thought. You dropped in and heard a sermon-themost of it slipped from your memory, but there were some few words that struck you so that you could not get rid of them.Perhaps, though, you thought no more about the message to which you had listened. Something else came in and took your attention.But a little while later you had to watch all night by the bedside of a sick friend-and then God came to you and brought toyour remembrance the words that you had forgot-
ten. Or it may be that some texts of Scripture which you learned when you were a child began to speak to you throughout thewatches of the night. Or perhaps you were going along a country road or, it may be that you were out at sea on a dark nightand the billows rolled heavily so that you could not sleep-and you even feared that you would be swallowed up by the ragingsea-then-then came the Voice of the Lord God speaking personally to you! When other voices were silenced, there was an opportunityfor His voice to be heard!
Not only did the Lord come to Adam and Eve seasonably, but He spoke to Adam personally and said, "Where are you?" One of thegreat mistakes in connection with all preaching is that so many hearers will persist in lending other people their ears. Theyhear a faithful Gospel sermon and they say, "That message would fit neighbor So-and-So admirably! What a pity Mrs. So-and-Sodid not hear it! That would have been the very word for her." Yes, but when God comes to you, as He came to Adam and Eve-andif you are not converted I pray that He may-the sermon He will deliver to you will be, every word of it, for you! He willsay, "Adam," or, "John," or, "Mary," or whatever your name is, "where are you?" The question will be addressed to you, alone!It will have no relation to any of your neighbors, but to you, alone. The question may take some such form as this-"Whereare you? What have you been doing? What is your condition now? Will you now repent, or will you still go on in your sins?"Have not you, young man, had some such experience as this? You went to the theater, but when you came home you said that youhad not enjoyed it and that you wished you had not gone. You went to bed, but you could not sleep. It seemed as if God hadcome to wrestle with you and to reason with you about your past life, bringing up one thing after another in which you havesinned against Him. At all events, this is the way He deals with many-and if He deals thus with you, be thankful for it andyield yourself up to Him-do not struggle against Him!
I am always glad when men cannot be happy in the world, for, as long as they can be, they will be. It is always a great mercywhen they begin to be sick of the dainties of Egypt, for then we may lead them, by God's guidance, to seek after the milkand honey of the land of Canaan-but not till then. It is a great blessing when the Lord puts before you, personally, a trueview of your own condition in His sight-and makes you look at it earnestly, concentrating your whole thought upon it-so thatyou cannot even begin to think about others because you are compelled to examine yourself, to see what your real conditionis in relation to God!
When the Lord thus comes to men and speaks personally with them, He makes them realize their lost condition. Do you not seethat this is implied in the question, "Where are you?" Adam was lost-lost to God, lost to holiness, lost to happiness. God,Himself, says, "Where are you?"That was to let Adam know this, "I have lost you, Adam. At one time I could speak with youas with a friend, but I cannot do so any longer. You were once My obedient child, but you are not so now. I have lost you.Where are you?" May God the Holy Spirit convince every unconverted person here that he or she is lost-not only lost to themselves,to Heaven, to holiness and to happiness-but lost to God! It was God's lost ones of whom Christ so often spoke. He was, Himself,the Good Shepherd who called together His friends and neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheepwhich was lost." And He represents His Father saying of His son when He has come back to Him, "'This, My son was dead'-deadto Me-'and is alive again. He was lost'-lost to Me, 'and is found.'" The value of a soul to God and God's sense of loss inthe case of each individual soul is something worth thinking over and worth calculating, if it can be calculated. God makesman realize that he is lost by His own moans and pleas, even as He said to Adam, "Where are you?"
You will observe, too, that the Lord not only came to Adam and questioned him personally, but He also made Adam answer Him.And if the Lord has, in this way, laid hold of any of you, talking with you in the cool of the day and questioning you aboutyour lost condition, He will make you confess your sin and bring you to acknowledge that it was really your own. He will notleave you as Adam wanted to be left-namely, laying the blame for the disobedience upon Eve. And He will not leave you as Evetried to be left-namely, passing the blame on to the devil! Before the Lord has done with you, He will bring you to the pointthat you shall feel, confess and acknowledge that you are really guilty of your own sin and that you must be punished forit. When He brings you down to that point and you have nothing at all to say for yourself, then He will pardon you!
I remember well when the Lord brought me to my knees in this way and emptied out all my self-righteousness and self-trustuntil I felt that the hottest place in Hell was my due desert-and that if He saved everybody else, but did not save me-yetHe would still be just and righteous, for I had no right to be saved! Then, when I was obliged to feel that it
must be all of Grace, or else there could be no salvation for me-then He spoke tenderly and kindly to me. But at first, theredid not seem to be any tenderness or pity to my soul. There was the Lord coming to me, laying bare my sin, revealing to memy lost condition and making me shiver and tremble while I feared that the next thing He would say to me would be, "Departfrom Me, accursed one, into everlasting fire in Hell!" Instead, He said to me in tones of wondrous love and graciousness,"I have put you among My children. 'I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawnyou.'" Blessed be the name of the Lord, forever and ever, for such amazing treatment as this meted out to the guilty and thelost!
IV. Now, fourthly, and very solemnly, I want to show you that THIS COMING OF THE LORD TO ADAM AND EVE IS ALSO PROPHETICALOF THE WAY IN WHICH HE WILL COME AS A JUDGING SPIRIT TO THOSE
WHO REJECT HIM AS AN AWAKENING SPIRIT.
I have already reminded you unconverted ones that as surely as you live, you will have to come to close terms with God likethe rest of us. Sooner or later you will have to know Him-and to know that He knows you. There will be no way of escapingfrom an interview which will be most serious and most terrible for you. It will happen "in the cool of the day." I do notknow when that may be. On my way to this service I called to see a young lady to whom, "the cool of the day" has come at twenty-five,or thirty years of age. Consumption has made her life a comparatively short one, but, blessed be God, His Grace has made ita very happy one and she is not afraid, "in the cool of the day," to hear the voice of the Lord God calling her Home! It iswell that she is not afraid, but you who have not believed in Jesus will have to hear that same Divine Voice in the cool ofyour life's day! You may be spared to grow old-the strength of youth and of manhood will have gone and you will begin to leanon your staff and to feel that you have not the vigor you used to have- and that you cannot do such a hard day's work as youused to do and you must not attempt to run up the hills as you once did. That will be "the cool of the day" to you-and thenthe Lord God will come in to you and say, "Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live."
Sometimes that cool of the day comes to a man just when he would have liked it to be the heat of the day. He is making moneyand his children are multiplying around him, so he wants to stay in this world a little longer. But that cannot be-he mustgo up to his bed and he must lie there for so many days and nights-and then he must hear the voice of the Lord God as He beginsto question him and say, "Where are you in relation to Me? Have you loved Me with all your heart, and mind, and soul, andstrength? Have you served Me? Are you reconciled to Me through the death of My Son?" Such questions as these will come tous as surely as God made us! And we shall have to give an account of the deeds done in the body, whether they have been goodor whether they have been evil. I pray you to think of these things and not to say, "Ah, that will not happen just yet." Thatis more than any of us can tell-and let me remind you that life is very short even at the longest. I am especially appealingto those who are of my own age. Do not you, dear Friends, find that when you are between 40 and 50 years of age the weeksseem to be much shorter than they used to be when you were young? I therefore gather that when our friends are 70 or 80 yearsof age-time must seem far shorter to them than it ever was before! I think that one reason why Jacob, when he was a 130 yearsold, said to Pharaoh, "Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life," was simply this-that he was really such anold man, though not as old as his ancestors, that time seemed even shorter to him than it did to younger men. If that wasso, then I suppose that the longer a man lives, the shorter time would appear to be. But, short or long, your share of itwill soon be over and you will be called upon to gather up your feet in bed and meet your fathers' God.
When that solemn and decisive hour comes, your interview with God will have to be a personal one. Sponsors will be of no useto anyone upon a dying bed! It will be of no use, then, to call upon Christian friends to take a share of your burden. Theywill not be able to give you of their oil, for they have not enough Divine Grace for themselves and you. If you live and diewithout accepting the aid of the one Mediator between God and man, all these questions will have to be settled between yoursoul and God without anyone else coming between yourself and your Maker! And all this may happen at any moment. This personaltalk between God and your soul at the end of your life may be ordained to take place this very night-and I am sent, as a forerunner,to give you this warning so that you may not meet your God altogether by surprise, but may, at any rate, be invited and exhortedto be prepared for that great interview!
Whenever that interview takes place, God will deal with you in solemn earnestness-personally bringing home your sin to you.You will be unable to deny it, for there will be One present at that interview who has seen it all-and the en-
quiries which He will make about the state of your soul will be very searching ones. He will not merely ask about one sin,but about allyour sins. He will not only ask about your public life, but also about your private life-nor yet merely enquireabout your doings, but about your sayings, your willings and your thinking-and about your whole position in relation to Himself,even as He asked Adam, "Where are you?"
In imagination-I pray that it may be only in imagination-I see some of you die unsaved. And I see you as you pass into thenext world unpardoned and your soul realizes, for the first time, what was the experience of the rich man, of whom our Saviorsaid, "In Hell he lifted up his eyes"-as though he had been asleep and had only just awakened to his true condition! "He liftedup his eyes" and gazed all around, but he could see nothing except that which caused him dismay and horror! There was no traceofjoy or hope, no trace of ease or peace. Then, through the awful gloom, there came the sound of such questions as these,"Where are you, Sinner? You were in a House of Prayer a few weeks ago and the preacher urged you to seek the Lord, but youprocrastinated! Where are you now? You said that there was no such place as Hell, but what do you say about it now? Whereare you? You despised Heaven and refused Christ-where are you now?" What horror will seize the disembodied spirit as it reflectsthat it has brought itself into the condition of which it was warned-and from which it was invited to escape-but which itwillfully chose for itself, thus committing eternal suicide! The Lord in mercy preserve all of you from doing that! But ifyou willdo it, then shall come forth from the lips of the justly offended God the irrevocable sentence, "Depart from Me, youcursed."
One of the most dreadful things in connection with this meeting of God with Adam was that Adam had to answer the Lord's questions.The Lord said to Him, "Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" In our courts of lawwe do not require men to answer questions which would incriminate them, but God does. And at the Last Great Day the ungodlywill be condemned on their own confession of guilt! While they are in this world they put on a bronze face and declare thatthey have done no wrong to anybody-not even to God. They say they pay their way and they are as good as their neighbors-betterthan the most of them! But all their brag and bravado will be gone at the Day of Judgment and they will either stand speechlessbefore God-and by their speechlessness acknowledge their guiltiness in His sight-or if they do speak, their vain excuses andapologies will but convict them! They will, out of their own mouths, condemn themselves like that wicked and slothful servantwho was cast into the outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth! God grant that we may never know, fromsad personal experience, what that expression means!
V. Now, lastly, this meeting of God with Adam should lead us who believe in Christ to EXPECT TO MEET HIM ON THE MOST LOVINGTERMS, for if even when He came to question guilty Adam and to pass sentence upon him, He did it so gently and mingled withthe thunder of His wrath the soft shower of His Grace when He gave the promise that "the Seed of the woman" should bruisethe serpent's head, may we not expect Him to meet us, by-and-by, on the most loving terms if we are in that woman's Seed andhave been saved by Jesus Christ, His Son?
He will come in the evening, Brothers and Sisters, when the day's work is done, so do not fret about the burden and heat ofthe day. The longest and hottest day will come to an end-you will not live here forever. You will not always have to wearyour fingers to the bone in trying to earn a scanty livelihood! You will not always have to look round upon your childrenand wonder where the bread will be found with which to feed them! No, the days on earth cannot last forever and, with manyof you the sun has already climbed the hill and begun to go down the other side-"the cool of the day" will soon come! I canlook upon a good many of you who have already reached that period. You have retired from active service, you have shaken offa good deal of business care and now you are waiting for your Master to come to you. Rest assured that He will not forgetyou, for He has promised to come to you. You will hear His voice before long, telling you that He is walking in the gardenand coming to you. Good old Rowland Hill, when he found himself getting very feeble, said, "I hope they have not forgottenpoor old Rowley up there." But he knew that he was not forgotten! Nor will you be, Beloved.
You will hear your Lord's voice before long and the mercy is that you will know it when you do hear it! Have you not oftenheard it before now? Many a time, in this house, you have heard His voice and you have been glad. In the cool of many an eveningyou have sat still and communed with God. I like to see an old Christian woman with her big Bible open, sitting by the hourtogether and tracing with her finger the precious Words of the Lord-eating them, digesting them, living on them and findingthem sweeter to her soul than honey or the droppings of the honeycomb to her taste!
Well, then, as you have heard your Lord's voice and know its tones so well. As you have been so long accustomed to hear it,you will not be astonished when you hear it in those last moments of your life's day! You will not run to hide yourself asAdam and Eve did! You are covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness, so you have no nakedness to fear and you may respond,"Did You ask, my Lord, 'Where are you?' I answer, 'Here I am, for You did call me.' Did You ask where I am? I am hidden inYour Son! I am 'accepted in the Beloved.' Did You say, 'Where are you?' Here I stand, ready and waiting to be taken up byHim, according to His promise that where He is, there I shall be, also, that I may behold His Glory."
Why, surely, Beloved, as this is the case, you may even long for the evening to come when you shall hear His voice and shallgo up and away from this land of shadows and chilly nights, into that blest place where the Glory burns on forever and ever,the Lamb is the Light thereof and the days of your mourning shall be ended forever! God grant that you may all have a partand a lot in that Glory, for His dear Son's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: GENESIS3.
Verses 1-9. Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto thewoman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat ofthe fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, Youshall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die:for God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good andevil And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desiredto make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat Andthe eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselvesaprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselvesfrom the Presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Whereare you? In tones of mingled pity and rebuke He asked, "Where are you?"
10, 11. And he said, I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself. And He said.Note the calm majesty of every word. Here is no human passion, but Divine dignity. "And He said"-
11, 12. Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? Andthe man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat There is no sign of true confessionhere. Adam had been an unfallen creature a few hours before, but now he had broken the commandment of the Lord-and you cansee how completely death was brought into his moral nature, for if it had not been so, he would have said "My God, I havesinned, can You and will You forgive me?" But instead of doing so, he laid the blame for his sin upon his wife which was anutterly evil action. "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." He almost seemed tolay the blame upon God because He had given him the woman to be with him! He was guilty of unkindness to his wife and of blasphemyagainst his Maker in seeking to escape from confessing the sin which he had committed! It is an ill sign with men when theycannot be brought frankly to acknowledge their wrongdoing.
13. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that you have done?Oh, that question! How far reaching it is! By heraction and her husband's, the floodgates had been pulled up and the flood of sin had been let loose upon the world! They hadstruck a match and set the world on fire with sin! And everyone of our sins is essentially of the same nature and has in it,substantially, the same mischief. Oh, that at any time when we have sinned, God would ask each one of us the question, "Whatis it that you have done?"
13. And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat Still, you see, there is no confession of guilt, but only theattempt to push the blame off upon somebody else. The Lord God did not ask the serpent anything, for He knew that he was aliar. But He at once pronounced sentence upon him-
14, 15. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above everybeast of the field. Upon your belly shall you go and dust shall you eat all the days of your life: and I will put enmity betweenyou and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel And now thereis no creature so degraded as that once bright angel who is now the devil! He is always going about with serpentine wriggling,seeking to do more mischief. On his belly does he go and still is dust his food. That which is foul, material, carnal, hedelights in. And his head is bruised, blessed be the name of the woman's promised Seed! The old serpent's head is bruisedwith a fatal bruising, while the wounded heel of our Savior is the joy and delight of our hearts!
16, 17. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children;and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. And unto Adam He said, Because you have hearkened untothe voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; cursed is theground for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. How obliquely fell the curse! Not, "Cursedare you," as the Lord said to the serpent, but, "Cursed is the ground for your sake."
18-21. Thorns, also, and thistles shall it bring forth to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of yourface shall you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and unto dust shallyou return. And Adam called his wife's name, Eve: because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wifedid the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Some creature had to die in order to provide them with garments andyou know Who it is that died in order that we might be robed in His spotless righteousness. The Lamb of God has made for usa garment which covers our nakedness so that we are not afraid to stand even before the bar ofGod!
22-24. And the LORD Godsaid, Behold the man is become as one ofUS, to knowgood and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand,and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden,to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, Cherubimsand a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life.